GCC states to adopt unified plan against Ebola

Health officials from across the GCC are scheduled to meet in Riyadh later this week to discuss measures against the virus

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Twenty-six health officials from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are scheduled to meet in Riyadh later this week to discuss a unified plan to combat the Ebola virus, Al Eqtisad news website reported Monday.

In addition to common preventive measures, the 26 health officials are expected to reveal a “unified” plan to purchase an experimental drug used to treat Ebola in the hopes of acquiring it at an “appropriate” price and making it available to anyone infected with the virus.

The officials are expected to call upon Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to join their fellow council state members in placing a travel ban on those travelling from countries affected by the virus.

The meeting is also expected to generate a unified stance to be adopted by GCC states with respect to the Ebola outbreak, including uniform preventive measures, travel bans, and a course of action in case of detection.

Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have already stopped issuing entry visas to those travelling from affected countries.

GCC countries should be on high alert as they are especially prone to being affected by the virus due to their geographic location and trading importance, Dr. Tawfiq Khoja, general manager of the Council of GCC Ministers of health office, told Al Eqtisad.

Khoja added that although the World Health Organization said a Saudi man suspected of contracting the Ebola virus had died of other causes, GCC states should stay alert.

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